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The Rape of the Nile: Tomb Robbers, Tourists, and Archaeologists in Egypt
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The Rape of the Nile: Tomb Robbers, Tourists, and Archaeologists in Egypt

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  181 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The scandalous rape of Ancient Egypt is a historical vignette of greed, vanity, and dedicated archaeological research. It is a tale vividly told by renowned archaeology author, Brian Fagan, with characters that include the ancient historian Herodotus; Theban tomb robbers; obelisk-stealing Romans; Coptic Christians determined to erase the heretical past; mummy traders; leis ...more
Paperback, Revised and Updated, 320 pages
Published September 15th 2004 by Basic Books (first published November 30th 1974)
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Jul 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who are interested in Egyptology, Archeology, History, Explorers, Victorian Times
This was a very well written and interesting book about the plunderers of Ancient Egyptian artifacts and ruin sites. Brian starts off with the Ancient Egyptians, moves on to The Great Belzoni and ends the book with stories about a general mix of Victorian adventurers, explorers and archeologists. This is not a dry non-fiction book, Brian really seems to be able to bring these historical characters to life and entertainingly tell the story of plunder, mischief and destruction that was the beginni ...more
Mohamed Daif
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books ever ... I didn't realize the effect of politics on archaeology before. The author mentioned a lot of great names such as Maspero and Belzoni. The writing style was simple and entertaining although I read it translated into Arabic. Reading this book was a really good experience
ماهر Battuti
Aug 10, 2012 rated it liked it
A long research work detailing the volume of antiquities and artifacts that have been removed from Egypt right from the era of the Ancient Egyptians up to our time.
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ancient-history
Maybe because it is the oldest of civilisations; maybe because its climate has meant so much has been preserved; maybe because of the exoticism and strangeness of its hieroglyphs; maybe because of the visible splendour and majesty of its relics; maybe because of the wealth and luxury of its pharaohs; for all these reasons and many more, Egypt has always drawn the attention of the curious and the greedy. The history of tomb-robbing in Egypt goes back a very very long way, after all, all the way b ...more
Morgan Dhu
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
In The Rape of the Nile, Brian Fagan tells the story of centuries of theft and destruction of priceless artefacts and archeological sites, largely by foreign invaders and adventurers, but also by Egyptians themselves. The catalogue of loss is a long one, and includes Roman conquerers, medieval adventurers, Napoleonic soldiers and historians, British entrepreneurs and archeologists - all of whom felt that the treasures of the ancient land of Egypt were theirs for the taking.

"During the past two
Robert Muller
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fagan's overview of the history of the pillage of Egypt, in the architectural sense, is excellent as far as it goes. I like what I learned, but I'd have liked to learn more about the local Egyptian government role in all this, the history of how Egypt moved toward a preservation ethic, and I'd like to see a lot more real history on the collectors--the people who wound up with the loot and what they did with it and why. But it's still a great read!
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The author, Brian Fagan, is one of the world's leading archaeological writers. This book is an update of his first one to include new accounts of recent discoveries. I did not know much about Egyptian history in regards to its antiquities. This book enlightened me in a well written and very readable way with fascinating and interesting information. I recommend this highly.
Jul 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Real Tomb Raiders. Not so much shooting and saving the world kind of stuff, more bureaucratic infighting and European nobility hissy-fits. Some fascinating characters and the research seems solid. It's too bad humans have to destroy so much before we think to learn from it or preserve it.

An OK book, but not exactly a page turner.
I felt this focused too much on the personalities of certain key figures and not enough on the historical forces and social attitudes that led to their behavior. I probably would have liked this much more if the material had been less familiar to me, as I've liked Fagan's other books.
James F
Feb 04, 2015 rated it liked it
A popular history of the "dark side" of Egyptian exploration; the looting of antiquities. I had read most of this material in bits and pieces in other books, but not as a continuous book. Fagan is a good writer but this is not his best book; it was a little superficial, but worth reading.
Mar 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: egyptology
كتاب رائع يكشف النقاب عن سرقة اثار مصر في العصر القديم و يكشف النقاب عن اكبر مهرب و سارق للاثار المصرية الايطالي جيوفاني بلزوني - النسخة العربية مكتبة الاسرة ترجمة د/ احمد زهير امين
Oct 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1history, box16
The history and evolution of Egyptology from the time of the Pharaohs to the present. Good read but cluttered with personalities vs facts
Jan 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa
Filled with stories about how Archaeology has damaged and shaped the cultural landscape of Egypt.
May 25, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I gave up on this halfway through. You can tell there are some great stories there, but this author is not much of a story teller.
Apr 15, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: egypt, nonfiction
A clear and relatively impartial account of early archaeology, or the earlier plundering of the Nile by variously motivated Europeans. Pretty good, though not of the livliest style.
Apr 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Well researched and chock full of information about the plundering of Egypt's artifacts, but it is a hard read that is about as wearying as a caravan trip across the desert.
Aug 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Tragic story where greed triumphs over all.
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هيثم الوزيري
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Jim Collett
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Jenny Barber
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Clain Jaques
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Dec 28, 2012
R.L. LaFevers
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رائع 1 2 Nov 15, 2013 03:57AM  
  • Egyptian Art
  • Nefertiti: Unlocking the Mystery Surrounding Egypt's Most Famous and Beautiful Queen
  • Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt
  • A Thousand Miles Up the Nile
  • Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times
  • Mountains of the Pharaohs: The Untold Story of the Pyramid Builders
  • Egyptomania: Our Three Thousand Year Obsession with the Land of the Pharaohs
  • Ancient Lives: The Story of the Pharaohs' Tombmakers
  • Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World
  • Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet
  • An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, Vol. 1
  • The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt
  • Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, Vol 1
  • Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt
  • Tutankhamen: Life and Death of a Pharaoh
  • Liberation Square: Inside the Egyptian Revolution and the Rebirth of a Nation
  • Stolen Legacy
  • The Traveler's Key to Ancient Egypt: A Guide to the Sacred Places of Ancient Egypt
Brian Murray Fagan (born 1 August 1936) is a prolific author of popular archaeology books and a professor emeritus of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, California, USA. Fagan was born in England where he received his childhood education at Rugby School. He attended Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he studied archaeology and anthropology (BA 1959, MA 1962, PhD 1965). ...more
More about Brian M. Fagan...